A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
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Ellen Renner was born in the USA, in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, but came to England looking for adventure, married here, and now lives in an old house in Devon with her husband and son. Her first book, CASTLE OF SHADOWS, winner of the Cornerstones Wow Factor Competition, was published by Orchard Books in 2010. It was chosen for both The Independent and The Times summer reading lists. Both CASTLE OF SHADOWS and the sequel, CITY OF THIEVES (Orchard, 2010), were included on The Times reviewer Amanda Craig’s list of best children’s books of 2010. CASTLE OF SHADOWS has won the North East Book Award 2011 and been shortlisted for 4 other awards, including the West Sussex Children’s Book Prize 2011. Ellen originally trained as a painter and surrounds herself with sketches of her characters as she writes. She spins wool as well as stories, knits and weaves; and collects teapots and motorbikes.
Ever since the Queen mysteriously disappeared and the King went mad five years ago, eleven-year-old Princess Charlie has lived a wild and mostly unsupervised life in the country of Quale, running amok through the castle instead of following affairs of state. Now revolution whispers through the air, and Charlie is powerless to stop it.
Then she discovers a clue: a desperate, unfinished letter scribbled years before by the missing Queen. Charlie doesn’t understand the danger her mother writes of, but she does know that the Queen absolutely must be found—together, they can surely save the King and the kingdom. (more)
“Gorgeously exciting and well written, with a hero as strong-minded and quick witted as its heroine, Renner’s acute sense of psychology, politics and pace makes this one to revel in … Not to be missed!” — The London Times
Tobias is on the run. From the father who betrayed him, from the mother who couldn’t comfort him, from his own desperate fear. But when he falls into the clutches of his uncle’s sinister gang of thieves, his fear grows. And soon Toby realises, his nightmare has only just begun. (more)
“Compelling characters and cracking good writing make this developing series a real treat.” — Times Best Books of 2010
What if your greatest enemy was yourself?
Zara is a mage, one of the elite in a world where magic is power, and the non-magic majority live as slaves. When her slave child best friend is killed for the crime of literacy, Zara seeks revenge by spying for the rebel Knowledge Seekers. She finds her bravery and magical skill tested to the limit when a young Maker, Aidan, is taken hostage in a bid for supposed peace. Surprised by first love, she promises to help him. But before Zara can keep her promise, her secret is discovered. Hunted by her own, she seeks refuge with the Knowledge Seekers. But when you can kill with a thought, can you ever be trusted? Pain, romance, defiance and revenge combine in this powerfully written – and breathtakingly envisioned – YA fantasy. (more)
“Having read this book more than once I can say without doubt that it is stunning!” — Sharon Jones, author of Dead Jealous
OUTCASTE (TRIBUTE #2)
Zara is on a quest for revenge – but is she amongst friends, or the bitterest of enemies?
Fleeing from the dangerous and powerful mage society she has betrayed, Zara has taken refuge in the Maker city of Gengst, where she knows she will face persecution and death if her identity is uncovered. She must live without magic, and even though she can finally be with the man she loves, her new life is far from the utopia she had dreamt it would be.
As the Knowledge Seekers work together to build machines powerful enough to end the centuries-long war between the mages and the non-magical Makers, Zara finds her loyalties and love tested to breaking point. She must face the evil that is her heritage, uncover the truth behind the childhood tragedy that haunts her – and find the strength to believe in herself. (more)